Group of Andreas Lüthi receives Swiss Brain League Research Prize 2020

Jan Gründemann and Andreas Lüthi holding their check (before the rules of social

Jan Gründemann and Andreas Lüthi holding their check (before the rules of social distancing were put in place!) The Lüthi group Key links ’ Swiss Brain League media release ’ More about the study for which the Award was received About the Swiss Brain League Research Prize Every two years, the Swiss Brain League awards a prize of CHF 20,000 to a Swiss research group in recognition of its outstanding scientific contribution in the field of neurological research. Both clinical and basic research projects are eligible. ’ Learn more Research Overview Research Areas Scientific Publications Awards & Honors Partnerships Research Groups Overview Epigenetics Quantitative Biology Neurobiology Former Group Leaders Technology Platforms Overview C. elegans Facility Cell Sorting (FACS) Computional Biology Facility for Advanced Imaging and Microscopy Functional Genomics Proteomics & Protein Analysis Education & Careers Overview PhD & MD-PhD Programs Postdoctoral Activities Teaching Open Positions Working at the FMI Equality & Diversity Living in Basel Alumni About Overview FMI at a Glance Organization & Leadership Scientific Advisory Board History Contact News & Events Overview News Resources Seminars & Events 2020 © FMI Basel Switzerland About this site Extranet (FMI only)

This year, the biennial Swiss Brain League Research Prize endowed with 20,000 CHF is awarded to the research group of Andreas Lüthi and Jan Gründemann from the FMI. The researchers have investigated how "internal states" such as anxiety, stress, hunger or thirst are coded in the brain of active mice. In the long term, their results may help to better treat diseases such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Internal states determine our behavior. If we have not eaten for a while, we are in a bad mood; if we are afraid, we are more passive and withdraw. How such internal states correlate with our behaviors has been studied in detail. However, little is known about how the brain encodes and controls internal states.

The research group led by Andreas Lüthi (first author of the study Jan Gründemann, now a group leader at the Department of Biomedicine (DBM) of the University of Basel, used to be a SNF Ambizione Fellow in the Lüthi group) has investigated how these internal states are coded in the brain: Which groups of nerve cells in the amygdala - the brain’s "fear center" - are activated when anxious behaviors occur? And how does this activity change when behaviors changes’ For the first time, using a new miniaturized microscope imaging technique, the researchers were able to describe patterns in the amygdala of active mice that depict their anxiety states.

For their remarkable study, the researchers were awarded the Swiss Brain League Research Prize 2020 endowed with 20,000 CHF. Their findings make an important contribution to understanding the brain and hold great potential for therapeutic interventions.

Publication related to this award:
Jan Gründemann*, Yael Bitterman*, Tingjia Lu, Sabine Krabbe, Benjamin F. Grewe, Mark J. Schnitzer & Andreas Lüthi (2019) Amygdala Ensembles Encode Behavioral States. Vol. 364, Issue 6437, eaav8736
*these authors contributed equally.

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